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5 Days in Tulum, Mexico!

One way to cure the winter blues is to head to Mexico with your girlfriends!

Tulum is a town of only 18,000 residents. Tulum is broken into two parts: Playa (beach) and Pueblo (town). We stayed on the beach for 3 nights and in town for 1. Tulum Playa is magical. Pastels and neutrals everywhere you look, beautiful blue hues of ocean for as far as you can see and places to eat tucked into the jungle or exposed on the beach. The beach, naturally, is much more expensive than town.  They each have a different vibe, both worth your time.

After much research we found PPP to be our place. It wasn't too fancy, but had a great vibe via social media and reviews. We quickly learned that Tulum was going to be more expensive than we initially thought, but despite the steep beach prices everyone told us it was worth it. Once arriving, we had to remind ourselves, yes there is a rustic chic feel, but we were still very much in a developing country. Communication will be a barrier, logistics a little tricker and pace of life a lot slower.
Tulum was a place that you need to go to know how to do it properly. There are things that would be adjusted on our next trip and yes there will be a next trip! We loved that during the day everyone / everything is low key, people topless on the beach, napping in the sun, yoga is being practiced.. there is a very zin vibe. When the sun goes down, things get going!

DAY 1:
Riley and I arrived in Cancun mid morning and had a impressively easily process through customs. We walk out grab a beer from the welcome bar and find our shuttle, within about 15 min we are on our way. Expedia offered certified shuttles, so we booked this prior to arriving. The shuttle holds 12 people, but we had it to ourselves! Our driver pulled into a local convenience store and we stocked up on supplies. By noon we are at PPP. Our room wasn't quite ready, so we dropped our bags and headed to Les Bains Beach Club, located on the property. This is a pop up beach club that would be there through March 2019. The clouds were thick and rain started to trickle in, but it didn't stop the bar tenders from making drinks of perfection or the DJ from spinning afternoon jamz. Our leisurely afternoon was wonderful. We made our way to our Oceanfront Casita with a pool. It's spacious, has an open concept, roof top deck and pool looking out to the ocean.
Maria and Sarah join us after a much more adventurous trip from Cancun to Tulum. Together, we head to Gitano for dinner, live music and Mezcal cocktails. Who knew I liked Mezcal!? Gitano sits on the jungle side of the main drag along the beach. It's tucked back surrounded by candles, open floor plans, cozy bench seating, palm trees, plants and a disco ball hanging in the outdoor lobby area. In the back is a roofed building with tall ceilings, art installations and room for dancing. The bathrooms are simple and romantic. The hall is lined with candles, and a floor to ceiling mirror on the back wall. The menu is creative and plated like art. After dinner we head next door to Casa Jaguar. More drinks. More dancing!
"American Bar"

We come across what we named "American Bar" because they were playing old school hip hop. Tipsy, we have a our own dance party. The bar is literally the smallest bar I've ever seen. 2 bar tenders. 6 bar stools, small square deck with DJ and a couch and few chairs on the sand beside deck.

DAY 2:
Wake up. Stretch. Breakfast overlooking the ocean. Lay on beach!
The rain joins us, so we decided it was time to swim in cenotes! We were not really sure what to expect, we had just been told, it's a must do while in Tulum. Cenotes are a natural sink hole in the earth. They happen when the limestone collapses. There are over 5,000 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula.  Most cenotes are fresh water at the top and salt water deep down! We rounded up a local taxi who dropped us at Calavera Cenote. At first glance, this place is sketchy. Stray animals, mops, a guy selling t shirts, another guy sitting on a bucket upside down and lots of trash. We pay the $5 entry fee and cautiously walk down the path. Much to our delight there is an incredible hole in the middle of the jungle, with just a handful of people there. We find a spot, finish our drink, admire the plant life and discuss if we are actually getting in. I told the girls, we came here to do this, we're doing it! From one angel the water looks black, but when you stand over it, it's the most beautiful clear blue! We held hands and all jumped in! The water was refreshing, and so so clear. We swam with rain pellets hitting us, and so happy we jumped.

As were were waiting for our next taxi, I noticed the man running this cenote had a jacket on with Becker written across the back. My mom lost her love, Al Becker last September, and it's crazy how many times Mr. Becker has shown up in the most incredible places and ways.

Our next Cenote is Grand Cenote, the cost is $10 and by now it's pouring rain, we wait a minute the just make the mad dash to the watering hole. We only got one picture. But this cenote was full of caves you could swim in and out of, turtles swimming with us and again clear blue water!
We head back to Sara's hotel, Azulik for a drink and to check out her tree house room! While this place is very very architecturally beautiful, some aspects are not practical. There is no electricity, this means in the evening you use your flashlight on your phone or have a staff member guide you through the jungle bridges, steps and swings to your room. Most rooms have no shower, just baths and again, no light in the room after the sunsets other than two candle wall sconces. Flats are the only way to go, well unless you are Riley.

From here we get ready for dinner at Hartwood! Hartwood is beside Gitano and like Gitano, tucked in the jungle. It's open air with very little coverage, so we were glad the rain held off. Everything is prepared daily and they use local/ fresh ingredients. We secured a table in the middle which was great for people watching under candle light! Every. Single. Thing. We. Ate. Was. Delicious.
Friday night is the night to go dancing at Gitano, but first we stopped at Ice Scream Bar for drinks and live music. The bartenders are taking shots, the wait staff is dancing around and there is not sign of this slowing down anytime soon!

We decided we should do some tipsy shopping and we all ending up with friendship rings that turned our fingers green by the end of the night.
We get in line at Gitano and after a few minutes, we're inside and picking our spot under the disco ball. We drink fresh drinks and dance for hours. There is a female DJ, I have not idea how many hundreds of people and just a welcoming, good time vibe happening in the space. We make our way back to PPP for sleepy time.

DAY 3:
We meander down to the beach town to check out the local shops and to eat at Posada Margherita. Talk about a beautiful setting. We eat handmade Italian and more fresh cocktails. The service was well below average, but it's a beach setting and the view was amazing.

With bellies full we wander town then go lay on the beach in the sunshine! Thankfully for my sun shy skin, PPP offers up tents with comfy lounging beds, bags and pillows. We got several good hours of sunshine before it was time to get ready for another meal.
Sara was a guest at Azulik, so she was able to secure a table at Kin Toh. We had a voucher to use, which meant our dinner was comp'd. There are beautiful rounded tables nestled over the jungle, but they come with a price tag of $1,000 per table. You know the prices are on the high end, when they are listed no where on the menu! The food was creative, beautifully plated, the staff very well educated on the menu and their manners impressive. If I went back to Tulum, would I have dinner here again? Probably not. The food was good, but not spectacular and the pricing was way to high. We were grateful for the hotel voucher and beautiful views, but you can def find better food for cheaper prices in Tulum! I Would suggest skipping the fancy meal and have a drink and listen to the live music in the bar area. Once in the bar you have access to the dining room and incredible views!

Saturday night is a big night at our hotel, PPP. They have rave parties with DJ's and lots of dancing. We were in the VIP area which was nice, we had seating and a private bar. After a few hours, I was beat, so called it a night.

DAY 4:
Sunday is full beach day. There isn't a cloud in the sky, we have our tent and our waiter. The seaweed has been swept up and hauled off and the water is the most beautiful blue. We sit here all day, until a storm rolls in!
Once the storm rolled in, that was our que to pack up and make our way into town. Aruma was our home for the night. We booked the apartment, that slept 4 and it was $128 for the night!
We loved this little hotel. The staff was very friendly, there was a cute boutique in the hotel where The girls thoughtfully gifted me a cool pair of earrings. Muun creates earrings from paper made in the Yukatan with old Mayan techniques! Once we were all checked in and showered it was time to explore.

We wandered the streets looking for the best place to eat dinner. We came across a place recommended by the hotel staff on the beach. Tres Galeones. From the moment we saw it, we knew this was our spot. Ivy and plants overgrown the front facade, candles everywhere and a ship theme. We ordered a few apps to share and then tacos / burritos. IT. WAS. SO. GOOD! From dinner, street vendors lured us in with trinkets, tassels and bars that had live music. 
 DAY 5:
Sleep in a litte, have a wonderful homemade fresh breakfast of eggs and avocado toast accompanied with juice and coffee toast and make our way home! Grab your ladies and head to Mexico!


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